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A New History of Jamaica
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Book description

Little is known about the anonymous author of this book, later identified as one Charles Leslie, whose family had strong Caribbean interests. In thirteen 'letters', Leslie covers Jamaica's early colonial history, its laws, the lives of its governors and the exploits of famous Caribbean pirates. He provides important evidence for the conditions in which slaves were traded and kept, and describes the slaves' beliefs and customs. Leslie's book was highly topical: it first appeared as 'A new and exact account of Jamaica' in Edinburgh in 1739, following years of growing hostility between Spain and Britain over trade in the Caribbean. That summer, Vice-Admiral Vernon was sent there to destroy as many Spanish ships and settlements as possible, and in November he captured Portobello. This book reproduces Leslie's suitably retitled second edition (London, 1740), which contained an additional chapter. A Dublin edition followed in 1741, and a French translation in 1751.

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